Sweet Dill Pickled Pine Mushrooms

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Sweet Dill Pickled Pine Mushrooms… What better way to store your freshly foraged wild mushrooms for a long time than pickling them?

I love a sweet pickle, always have, so I naturally gravitate to this pickling liquid but there are plenty of methods of pickling and flavour combinations that you will develop your very own favourite pickling brine in no time.

Enjoy! Blondie 🙂

Thai Noodle Salad w/ Fried Soft Shell Crab

Thai Noodle Salad w/ Fried Soft Shell Crab
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Thai Noodle Salad w/ Fried Soft Shell Crab – There really isn’t anything more delicious than a beautifully cooked, crunchy soft shell crab.

I had two crabs still in the freezer, which whenever I opened the door would scream to be cooked… You seem to always feel – at least I do,  that you need an occasion to cook these, so I had been holding off… till today!

I have a detailed description of how to clean the crab in a previous post, How To Prepare Soft Shell Crab, so there’s no excuse not to try this – you will love it!

The flavours are deliciously fresh and zingy with lots of textures to make your mouth feel likes it’s at a party!

Best Ever Chili Con Carne w/ Chorizo & Dates

Best Ever Chili Con Carne w/ Chorizo & Dates
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Best Ever Chili Con Carne w/ Chorizo & Dates – You may be a little surprised with the use of dates in this recipe but rest assured, once you have tried it you will be hooked.

So why did I use dates? Well, a chili con carne ideally uses a variety of peppers, each adding their own uniqueness to the dish. For example, capsicum adds a sweet, bright flavour without any heat. Chipotles add a warming heat with a smoky tobacco flavour. Arbol or similar are the fire and Ancho add a deep almost fruity flavour. If you find a pepper to match each of these four flavour groups you will have a well rounded dish.

As I didn’t had all the peppers available to me I improvised. Missing the deep fruity flavour, I dug around and found dates. Perfect! Blending the dates with the chipotles and tomatoes to make a rich, hot and smokey paste, which was smoothed out with the addition of the dates was pure genius… if I do say so myself.

The addition of chorizo adds a slightly different texture to the mince plus, depending on your chosen chorizo sausage it can add extra heat and spiciness. I cook the sausage at the beginning so as to use the rendered fat to cook the onions in. Setting it aside till the end means the chorizo crumbs remain little flavour bombs rather than melding into the flavour pot.

Chili con carne along with bolognese is a mince dish that is best made in bulk as reheated meals always taste so good. And having frozen portions in the freezer means you will always have a delicious meal available… Stuffed baked potatoes or zucchinis. Use it on your nachos or burritos.

Endless possibilities… Blondie 🙂

Avocado & Miso Dressing w/ Chicken Quesadillas

Avocado Miso Dressing w/ Chicken Quesadillas
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Avocado & Miso Dressing w/ Chicken Quesadillas – This is a multi use dressing as it will depend on the consistency you make it as to its use. Here I have used it as a dip so have left it quite thick. If you want to have it as a dressing for a chicken salad then add some water till you get to a more fluid type consistency.

The flavours in this dressing pair so well with chicken that I know you will come up with a multitude of menu ideas to use it with.

Happy lunching! Blondie

Loaded Chicken Noodle Soup w/ Omelette

Chicken Noodle Soup Omelette
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Loaded Chicken Noodle Soup w/ Omelette – Looking for a quick meal to make that’s delicious and healthy also? You can’t go past this soup. Plus, leftover chicken gets shredded for sandwiches over the next day or two…. hmmm, poached chicken and mayo with salad sandwiches…

What I love about this soup is that all the hard work is done with very little effort from you. The whole chicken and the flavourings added to the cooking water are busy doing their thing. The water is being turned into a fragrant stock and the chicken is cooking in one of the most gentlest ways possible, leaving it fall off the bone tender and juicy.

When you get home, all you need to do is put the whole chicken (or chicken pieces) in a pot large enough to hold it and throw in all the ingredients for the soup base. Leave it to cook for 60 minutes while you are getting out of your work gear and then it’s basically done.  You just need to compile and then devour.

Another reason chicken soups like these are so fantastic and easy to make, is because you can use frozen chicken, straight from your freezer. I know! Amazing, right?! This one was actually made with a whole frozen chicken. The time is a little longer, closer to 1hr 40mins or so, depending on size, but the result is the same. Just make sure you have a meat thermometer so you can check that it’s fully cooked on the inside. You want the internal temperature to be 75°C / 167°F for chicken.

Any part of the chicken is suitable in this recipe so keep some thighs or breasts permanently stocked in your freezer, along with a bag of frozen veggies and you will always have chicken soup.

Happy slurping! Blondie

Braised Wild Rabbit w/ Smokey Bacon & Mushrooms

Braised Wild Rabbit w/ Smokey Bacon & Mushrooms
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Braised Wild Rabbit w/ Smokey Bacon & Mushrooms – I have a couple of favourite butchers I love to go to. Unfortunately my visits to them are limited to our annual and quarterly visits to family. This is why I go prepared with a big esky and lots of icepacks to bring my loot safely home.

Wagga Wagga is Knights Meats, an veritable candy store of meats. We always stock up on their Corned Hogget, enough to last a year as we only get there annually.

Canberra has Eco Meats in one of my favourite food markets, located right near my nana’s place, in Belconnen. If there is an animal you would like to try then here’s your place… among their cornucopia of meats are camel, ostrich, possum, crocodile, plus nitrite free bacon. This is where I stock up on bacon and wild rabbit before heading back to Sydney.

I love rabbit and have been eating it since I was young, even being the ‘lucky one’ and getting the bullet in one of my mouthfuls when eating a freshly shot one we had for dinner when we were in Finland.

There is a big difference between a farmed white rabbit and a wild rabbit. The flavour of a wild rabbit is definitely alot more flavoursome and as they may be older than the farmed ones, they can be tougher, which is why braising is the preferred method for wild rabbit. Having a stronger flavour also means you can be a bit bolder with the other ingredients you choose to put into it. The farmed rabbit has a more delicate flavour so softer flavours are needed so as to not overpower the rabbit.

If you aren’t sure if you would like wild rabbit or have yet to try rabbit then purchase a farmed one and then move up to the wild rabbit.

Happy hunting! Blondie

Individual Chocolate Chip Cookie Pots

Individual Chocolate Chip Cookie Pots
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These Individual Chocolate Chip Cookie Pots are microwave cookies baked in seconds with only minutes of prep work required. They are insanely good and just perfect for those moments when a few mouthfuls of something warm, soft and slightly gooey is all that’s needed to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Just picture yourself sitting on the couch, all rugged up with woollen socks on and a blanket draped over you, slowly eating this freshly made warm chocolate chip cookie cup. Maybe you have a dollop of ice cream on top, which is gently melting from the warmth of the cookie adding another delicious element of languid creaminess to each mouthful.

Go for it, you know you want to… Blondie